Tomorrow we'll see an OPBF Featherweight title fight, as Satoshi Shimizu defends the title against Kyohei Tonomoto. With that in mind we felt this was the perfect time to feature the title in our latest "Did you know..." article.
-The first champion was Filipino fighter Larry Bataan, who beat Akiyoshi Akanuma to claim the title in 1952. He defended the belt twice, beating Akanuma in a rematch to retain the title and then beating the legendary Flash Elorde in his second defense.
-Larry Bataan's reign was ended by Shigeji Kaneko, who stopped Bataan in 4 rounds. Interestingly Kaneko's reign, like that of Bataan, saw the new champion make his first defense against the man he beat for the belt, stopping Bataan in 5 rounds in their rematch.
-Shigeji Kaneko's reign saw him make 6 defenses of the belt. These included one against Flash Elorde in 1954, who he also beat in a none title fight in 1955. Kaneko was also the first champion to vacate the belt and the first to defend the belt on foreign soil, something he did against Emil Bill Tinde.
-The fourth champion was the wonderfully named Army Wonder Boy. Sadly his reign was a short one and saw him lose the belt in his first defense.
-Thailand's Veeranid Charoenmuang was the fifth champion. He was the first Thai to hold the belt, and the only Thai to hold the title.
-The record for most successful defenses in a single reign is 12, a record set by Mitsunori Seku between 1962 and 1969. His reign was the 6th
-The first reign by a Korean fight was the 8th reign, which was by Hubert Kang. Kang held the title from September 1968 to March 1970. Kang was also the first man to defend the belt in Korea, doing so against Rey Miller in 1969.
-In 1972 Hyun Kim, the 10th man to hold the title, featured in the first draw, defending the belt with a draw against Ernie Cruz. This was also the first, and so far only, bout for the belt to be held in Guam.
-Just 2 months before Kim's draw with Cruz he became the first fighter to defend the belt with a KO1, stopping Tad Okamoto in their second bout. Strangely their first bout had gone the 12 round distance.
-Royal Kobayashi was the first former world champion to win the title, doing so 17 months after losing the WBC Super Bantamweight title to Dong Kyun Yum.
-Royal Kobayashi also hold the distinction as being the first man to lost the belt in the first round, losing the title in 1981 to Jung Han Hwang whilst looking to record his 8th defense.
-After Hwang's win over Kobayashi the following 20 bouts for the title all took place in South Korea! Those 20 bouts, or 21 if we include Hwang's win, covered the entire of 1982-1988
-According to boxrec Filipino Davino Inocian had a record of 9-10 before winning the title in 1983, to move to 10-10. His career tally was 13-13 after his final recorded bout.
-The first time the bout was fought for in Indonesia came in 1991, when Cris Saguid beat Robby Rahangmetang for the belt.
-Chris Saguid was also the first man to reclaim the title, and is the only man to be a 3-time champion
-The only other man to reclaim the title has been Samuel Duran.
-The first Australian to win the belt was Tony Wehbee
-Fighters who have won the title and then gone on to win world titles are Min Keun Oh, Hwan Kil Yuh, Ki Young Chung, Young Kyun Park, Takashi Koshimoto and Ryol Li Lee
-The title has never had an interim champion
-We have had 156 bouts for the belt so far, with Shimizu Vs Tonomoto set to be the 157th. These have include 6 draws.
-There have so far been 48 reigns shared by 45 champions
-Coming into Shimizu Vs Tonomoto only 1 of the last 14 bouts has gone the distance!
-Since 1952 the bout has been fougth for every year, except for 2019!
Thinking Out East
With this site being pretty successful so far we've decided to open up about our own views and start what could be considered effectively an editorial style opinion column dubbed "Thinking Out East" (T.O.E).